What is Yaupon?

What does it taste like?

Simply, it's the only caffeinated plant, native to North America. Think of it as a very special cup of “tea.” Nothing touches these leaves but sunshine and rainwater, so CatSpring Yaupon is as sustainable and natural as it gets.
No tannins: your tea will never turn bitter, no matters how long or how many times you steep.
No pesticides: just natural and organic flavor with every sip.
No international shipping: so you can feel good about your low carbon footprint.

We like to say:
It’s Texan, for Tea.

It even looks like tea, and can be brewed hot or cold. But this cup is special and unique:
  • Yaupon comes from the plant Ilex vomitoria instead of Camellia sinensis, from which many traditional varieties of tea come.
  • Tea has tannins, yaupon does not. So you can steep multiple times without your drink growing bitter or astringent.
  • Yaupon is full of antioxidants - even more than green tea after processing!

History of Yaupon?

You may have yaupon in your yard: in the south, it’s a common shrub also used as a decorative plant. And this little plant has a storied history…
Known as "our beloved tree" to the Cherokees, native cultures drank yaupon over one thousand years ago, and eventually traded it as far north as modern-day Illinois. In our region the Karankawas harvested and loved the yaupon before they were largely eradicated.
When European immigrants discovered the drink, along with its medicinal properties, they brought it back to the continent. Until the 19th century, it was quite the rage, until trading ceased, possibly due to a tea conspiracy spearheaded by the East India Company and largely due to the eradication and eventual forced relocation of the indigenous tribes like the Chickasaw's to Oklahoma.
During the Civil War and World War II, yaupon was also a popular substitute for coffee for soldiers and civilians alike.
Curious to dive deeper? Find more about this forgotten treasure in our award-winning animated video, showcased at the World Tea Expo: